B.S., Stanford University; Ph.D., University of California
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences; Director, Wellesley College Botanic Gardens
Ecologist with a dual Wellesley role: Director of the Botanic Gardens and faculty member in Biology and Environmental Studies.
I've long been interested in plant-animal interactions, particularly pollination and herbivory. Recently I'm getting more and more involved in ecological approaches to growing food, such as edible forest gardens, and partnering with permaculture experts to analyze productivity and sustainability of designed edible ecosystems.
Each spring I teach an introductory course in Environmental Horticulture, using the greenhouses and outdoor gardens as living laboratories. Occasionally I also get to teach seminars, such as the first year seminar "The Art and Science of Food in Italy, from the Renaissance to the Slow Food Movement," team-taught with Art History Professor Jacki Musacchio, or a senior seminar on Biodiversity. I am particularly interested in engaging students who aren't already excited about biology or the environment, using the botanic gardens and food as bridges into science.
Outside of my work at Wellesley, I enjoy growing things, including kids and dogs as well as food and other plants; and pretty much anything that gets me outside.